Federal shutdown leaves local veterans in limbo

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 9 at 5:27 PM

Local veterans and their families are living in limbo, not knowing if they'll receive pension and disability payments in November because of the federal shutdown.

Retired Staff Sergeant Ricky Ray served three tours in Iraq. Diagnosed with PTSD and multiple traumatic brain injuries, the Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient is now a stay at home dad, who himself needs round the clock care. He could suffer an epileptic seizure at any moment.

"You can't drive. You can't watch your son," said Ray. "I can't take my son to a park. I can't take my son on a boat fishing by ourselves."

Ray's wife takes care of him and their 2-year-old son. Her caregiver stipend and his disability payments pay for their rent, their insurance, their food and all their utilities. And now the federal shutdown is threatening all of that come November 1.

"We go from being over a $7,000 a month to absolutely zero," said Elizabeth Ray.

In Washington, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs warned lawmakers 3.8 million veterans won't receive their disability checks next month if the shutdown continues. 

"No one's working together. No one is going to budge on anything," said Ray. "It's a boulder going down a hill. It's going to hit everybody at some point."

 


 

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